Psoriasis Doesn’t Have To Be A Life
Peter Amento avoided shorts and short sleeves for most of his life, no matter how warm the weather. When he did wear them, People would comment: What have you got? Poison ivy? Thats how bad my psoriasis would look, says the 61-year-old husband and father of three from Hamden.
Weve worked together to find the best treatment for his condition. Its a great partnership.Keith Choate, MD, PhD
The skin disorder appeared when Amento was 15, and over the years he tried everything to make it go away. I started with sunlamps, which was the way to go back then, he says. It didnt do much. He moved on to ointments, slathering them on the red patches on his arms, legs and torso, then covering the areas with plastic wrap to help the medication seep in. Theyd go away for a couple of weeks, then youd have to repeat the whole process.
Later, he would fly to Florida and sunbathe on the beach until his skin was crisp. The sunburn killed me for a couple of days, but it got rid of the psoriasis for a month, he says.
Amento assumed he would struggle with the condition for the rest of his life. Then his local dermatologist referred him to Yale Medicine, where physicians had a new approach.
How I Got To Psoriasis Remission
Psoriasis affects your body, mind, and spirit. Theres no cure, but healing and even remission is possible. The road to remission can be rocky with lots of stops and starts along the way. Its a journey. And like any other, theres more than one route to get there.
Heres how three women have made peace with their disease and themselves.
In 2008, I had a flaky scalp that I thought was just dandruff. After about a year, it started to spread, and I was diagnosed with psoriasis.
At its worst, my body was completely covered. My face, ears, legs, back no place was spared. I itched horribly, and when I scratched my skin, it bled.
For 10 years, I tried all different kinds of shampoos and skin creams. While living in Singapore, I visited the National Skin Clinic and started UVB treatments, which helped a lot. The problem is, as soon as I stopped going, my psoriasis came back.
When it was time to start a family, I wanted to avoid strong medications while pregnant. I just dealt with it the way I could.
We moved to New York, and I went to see a dermatologist to find relief. Eventually, I found Dr. Saakshi Khattri at Mount Sinai Hospital, who also diagnosed me with psoriatic arthritis. I thought I had just normal aches and pain from walking around and chasing after the kids. But Dr. Khattri said that if inflammation is this bad on your skin, its probably worse on the inside.
The treatment has been life-changing.
How Common Is Guttate Psoriasis
Guttate psoriasis is the second most common form of psoriasis that people get. Its more common in children and those under 30 years of age. The National Psoriasis Foundation suggests that of those who suffer from psoriasis, around 10% will suffer from guttate psoriasis. It comes in just behind plaque psoriasis, which is the type of psoriasis that is considered to be the most common form of psoriasis that people suffer from.
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I First Started Getting Psoriasis Around The Age Of 26
It was when I worked at a steakhouse as a cook. I was eating a lot of beef and white bread because it was free. Somebody would mess up a steak or burger at least twice a day, and boom, I had a free meal. I ate beef and white bread almost everyday for two years. Not a good choice.
Red spots starts showing up around my eyelashes and above my lip. Then they started flaking and getting gross, then it started in my hair, little crusty bumps. I didnt know what to do, I didnt have health care, so I couldnt go to the doctor. And it wasnt that bad.
During the next summer I played a lot of basketball outside with no shirt on and it went away. Getting a tan apparently makes psoriasis disappear. But I was also thinking, oh it goes away in the summer, who cares.
I went back to college and started drinking black coffee twice a morning and feeling stressed out. I think the black coffee and stress made the psoriasis return. During that winter it got really bad. The red dots became huge and dry, it felt like my skin was made of rocks. I kept putting lotions on it recommended by some of my female friends, all of which contained alcohol and fragrance, which actually made it worse. When I would reach up to grab things, the dots would crack and bleed.
I was really scared to eat differently like actually scared. How could I ever live without disgusting food and Pepsi on a daily basis?
Will My Children Get Psoriasis
If both parents have psoriasis then the risk of children developing psoriasis is 15 out of 20 and if one parent has psoriasis, the risk of children developing the disease is 3 out of 20 . If a brother or sister has psoriasis then the risk of other siblings developing psoriasis is 1 out of 5 . Therefore, if you have psoriasis, your children will not necessarily develop it.
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What Causes Guttate Psoriasis
Very often, guttate psoriasis comes on suddenly. Strep throat is a common trigger, says Sugarman.
So-called environmental factors seem to play a more important role in guttate psoriasis than in other types of psoriasis, he adds.
- An upper respiratory infection bacterial or viral
- An injury to the skin such as an insect bite, burn, or cut
- Medications, such as beta-blockers, which are used to treat heart conditions, and drugs that treat malaria
- Excessive alcohol consumption
These triggers can cause guttate psoriasis in people who may have a family history or other risk factors for the disease.
Shurlow does know that when shes under stress, her guttate psoriasis symptoms tend to be worse. Also, two or three days before coming down with a cold or other illness, she would notice more spots. I find it kind of strange, she says. It was like a warning sign that I was going to get sick.
Is Psoriasis Remission Possible
There’s no cure for psoriasis, but it’s possible that your symptoms could simply disappear, either with effective treatment or without any treatment at all.
The news that you have a chronic disease like psoriasis is understandably hard to handle. And a lifetime of psoriasis symptoms skin that’s often red, scaly, flaky, itchy, and painful probably seems like an unfair burden to bear for the 7.5 million Americans with psoriasis.
But some people have long periods with no symptoms, known as psoriasis remission, when their psoriasis treatment is successful.
Spontaneous remission, or when your symptoms clear up without treatment, is also possible. Your immune system attacks the skin cells mistakenly, which is what triggers psoriasis in the first place, but in some cases, the body relents and allows the cells to heal.
Read Also: Pictures Of Plaque Psoriasis On Arms
Can Psoriasis Be Treated
Yes, there are many forms of treatment for psoriasis, which range from those you apply to the skin to tablets, and more recently injectable therapies, See Treatments for Psoriasis.
Many people who have psoriasis find that the sun and artificial ultraviolet light helps to improve their skins appearance. For some the change is dramatic. Be aware that exposure to the sun and artificial UV therapy can cause damage to the skin. See Psoriasis and the sun and Psoriasis and phototherapy
For some people, talking therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy can also help them understand the psychological impact of psoriasis and provide a safe therapy which may help them cope with psoriasis. See our free online CBT programme
Your general practitioner or dermatologist will be best placed to advise you and keep you informed of all current and new treatments available and to recommend the best treatment programme for you personally.
Remember: Your treatment can only be as good as you allow it to be – that means if the treatment takes six weeks, you have to follow it as instructed for six weeks and no ducking out! Adherence to treatment instructions is an essential part of managing your psoriasis.
Maintenance Of Regular Follow
According to the Arthritis Foundation, close collaboration with your dermatologist, rheumatologist, or other health care provider is one of the best ways to help achieve low disease activity. These professionals can evaluate your symptoms, examine your laboratory results, and adjust your medication if needed.
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What To Eat In Psoriasis
A healthy diet is always important for maintaining healthier skin and fighting off the flare-ups related to any skin diseases. Some of the food habits that need to be preferred in the case of psoriasis to control the severity of symptoms are such as:
- Avoiding excessive alcohol intake.
- Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods in the diet such as fruits and vegetables including berries and green leafy vegetables.
- Intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Low carbohydrate and low-fat diets should be taken.
- A gluten-free diet is preferred.
What To Do For Infection
If your scalp psoriasis becomes infected, you may have crusting, redness, warmth, tenderness, and sometimes swelling of your lymph nodes. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic treatment for this problem.
National Psoriasis Foundation: “Specific locations: scalp,” “Scalp Psoriasis,” and “Over-the-Counter Topicals,” “Traditional systemic medications,” “Moderate to severe psoriasis: Biologic drugs.”
Handa, S. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, 2010.
Skin Therapy Letter: “Treatments for Scalp Psoriasis with Emphasis on Calcipotriol Plus Betamethasone Dipropionate Gel .”
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What To Do When Psoriasis
There are some steps that we can adopt to control and manage the condition of psoriasis. Those include:
Whats The Treatment For It
There is the suggestion that it will go away on its own in a few weeks to a couple of months. But that can feel like a lifetime when youve got a flare-up. In a similar way to plaque psoriasis, you can also treat guttate psoriasis using medications or phototherapy. Talk to your doctor about the types of medication you could be able to use, such as steroids or hydrocortisone. Alternatively, you could also try several over-the-counter options like coal tar soaps and shampoos, vitamin A and plenty of moisturizing.
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What To Do If Psoriasis Returns
When psoriasis strikes again, the best recourse is to start treating it pronto. If your previous treatment was successful, talk to your doctor about resuming the same course. But sometimes skin becomes resistant to a certain treatment, and what was once useful is no longer effective at managing psoriasis symptoms. In that case, youll need to try a new approach.
“There is no ‘one size fits all’treatment for psoriasis,” says James Swan, MD, professor of medicine in the department of dermatology at Loyola University Chicago and dermatologist at the Loyola Center for Health in La Grange Park, Illinois. “Treatment decisions are based on the type, severity and extent of the psoriasis, as well as the response or lack of response to prior treatments. There are many options, and new and fortunately very effective treatments are coming to market at a rapid pace.”
There are several treatments available for psoriasis, including:
Psoriasis Is Often A Life
Most people who get psoriasis have it for life. Thats true no matter what type of psoriasis you have, with one exception. Some children who have guttate psoriasis see their psoriasis go away.Because psoriasis tends to be a life-long disease, it helps to learn about it and see a board-certified dermatologist. A bit of knowledge and help from a board-certified dermatologist can give you some control over the psoriasis. By gaining control, you can see clearer skin. Gaining control can also help you to feel better, improve your overall health, and prevent the psoriasis from worsening.
Gaining control often involves:
Learning what triggers your psoriasis
Sticking to a good psoriasis skin care routine
Living a healthy lifestyle
Using medication when necessary
Seeing a board-certified dermatologist has another benefit. Psoriasis can increase your risk of developing certain diseases, such as psoriatic arthritis or diabetes. Your dermatologist can watch for early signs of disease. If you do develop another disease, early treatment helps to prevent the disease from worsening.When you see a board-certified dermatologist about psoriasis, your dermatologist may talk about the type of psoriasis you have. Its possible to have more than one type. You can learn about the different types and see pictures of what each type looks like by going to: Psoriasis: Signs and symptoms
Related AAD resources
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Will Scalp Psoriasis Go Away On Its Own
Notice scalp itchiness after getting your hair colored? You might be having an allergic reaction to the dye. Fortunately, the issue usually goes away on its own. Just try and.
The best way to go.
What can cause sores or scabs on the scalp? Sores or scabs on the scalp are often harmless and clear up on their own. However, they can sometimes be the sign of a condition that may require treatment, such as psoriasis.
for scalp problems.
Connect with patients and caregivers affected by psoriasis or.
Psoriasis can manifest itself differently depending on the severity of your.
We are going to add the new medication acitrentin to my treatment.
Turned away for a haircut.
the typical questions and I informed her that I have scalp psoriasis,
Psoriasis symptoms can vary from person to person but may include one or more of the.
Scalp psoriasis: Psoriasis on the scalp appears as red, itchy areas with.
You may have a single outbreak that goes away on its own, or you may have.
Psoriatic arthritis can cause pain, swelling and stiffness in.
on the skin, but most commonly at the elbows, knees, back, buttocks and scalp.
of these symptoms, particularly if you have two or more and they don’t go away.
swelling, while some can treat the condition itself and reduce its symptoms.
The plaques are covered with silvery-white dead skin cells, can be itchy and painful and may essentially arise anywhere on the skin surface, from the scalp.
of psoriasis, like guttake. If youve.
People with psoriasis.
How To Use Anthralin Micronized Shampoo
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start using anthralin shampoo and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication is for use on the scalp as directed by your doctor, usually 3 to 4 times a week. Wet hair, then massage anthralin shampoo onto scalp. Work into a gentle lather and leave on the scalp for 3 to 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Avoid contact with eyes. Although no additional shampoo is necessary to cleanse the hair, a non-medicated shampoo or conditioner can be applied after using anthralin shampoo, if desired.
Use this product regularly to get the most benefit from it. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Also Check: Psoriasis And Other Skin Conditions
What Are The Stages Of Guttate Psoriasis
Guttate psoriasis has three stages: mild, moderate and severe. Mild guttate psoriasis is where there are only a few spots on your skin, covering about 3% of your body. Moderate guttate psoriasis is the next stage where there may be spots on 3% to 10% of your body. Severe guttate psoriasis is the highest stage and could see spots covering 10% of your skin.
Psoriasis Beyond The Basics
There are many different types of psoriasis, including chronic plaque psoriasis, types of pustular psoriasis , guttate psoriasis, scalp psoriasis, flexural psoriasis, napkin psoriasis, nail psoriasis and erythrodermic psoriasis .
For those that have psoriasis around 1 in 4 may develop an associated psoriatic arthritis , which is about 325,000 people, or around 0.5% of the UK population. PsA causes pain and swelling in the joints and tendons, accompanied by stiffness particularly in the mornings. The most commonly affected sites are the hands, feet, lower back, neck and knees, with movement in these areas becoming severely limited.
Not all people will be affected in the same way and doctors will class the condition as mild, moderate or severe.
Remember, although psoriasis is a chronic condition, it can be controlled and go into remission .
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